1. sarahc

    sarahc Registered User

    Apr 4, 2004
    33
    My mother is in a wonderful home 'up north' and I am in London so although I don't see her that often (usually once a month) I do try and phone every few days. I think I explained in a previous posting that my mother constantly wants to go home and indeed thinks she will be home soon ( eg 'When you come on Tuesday you might not find me here -I should be home by then !'). My problem is when I call she seems to want to get me off the phone as quickly as possible because she is convinced we will see each other really soon. Yesterday's phone call went along the lines of :

    Me: 'Hello, how are you ?'
    Mum: 'Fine, I'm here in Upton but will be home in about 15 minutes, could you get your father his tea ?'(My father died 3 months ago)
    Me: 'Umm. Right OK' (I don't go on abut the fact my father died - it is pointless and usually play along with whatever she says about him)
    Mum 'See you soon then, Byee' (puts phone down)!

    Even with the encouragement of the staff to get her to talk to me she cuts off the conversation after less than a minute.

    Any suggestions ?? She is my mum after all and I want to talk to her !!

    Sarah
     
  2. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Hi Sarah

    Boy that's a tough one!

    More deception I guess is the only way - how about "I've got to stay over tonight Mum so I won't see you later...", "need your advice about... ???", "I know you want to rush off but before you go...", " I've got to pop to Heswall/Birkenhead/Wallasey do you need any shopping bringing back...?. Crazy stuff really just to get her to stay on the line a bit longer. Might be absolute rubbish but you never know if you can keep her attention a little longer you might be able to turn the conversation around a bit.

    Its like being in training for some mental Olympic sport isn't it. Trouble is your Mum is in Gold medal position in the speed thinking stakes! I've always been weak in the imagination department but I'm sure someone will come up with something useful.

    Let us know how it goes

    Kriss
     
  3. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Hello Sarah

    Your Mum wanting to 'go home' may be part of a condition called 'sundowning' but nobody can explain why it happens. I know this may seem harsh, but she will have forgotten you have called almost as soon as she has put down the phone, one of her coping mechanisms is to observe the familiar pleasantries but more than that she is unable to do. I think you are right not to mention that your Dad has died as it will be news to her and she may be shocked. When my Mum says she has to get 'home' she doesn't mean the marital home, she means her mother's home. I tell her that I've just called in there and her mother was baking for tea and fine (given she died in 1967 that's one feast I'll pass). She seems to accept that.

    Are you imagining her sitting there waiting for you? Try not to. I always fretted about this with my Mum so when settling her before leaving from a visit I would sneak back and she would be about whatever business - snoozing, walking about, but certainly not distressed. If you can, take some comfort from that, even if it makes you feel a little rejected because she can't hold much of a conversation; she's really doing her best.

    Thinking of you
    Chesca
     
  4. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Kriss

    If you're passing through Birkenhead, could you call into the market and get me five and a half yards of floral wynceyette and 1lb of cinder toffee. The central heating has packed in and I need to make some warm pyjamas, and something to chew on while I'm busying with the thimble.

    You're a love
    Chesca
     
  5. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Kriss

    If you're passing through Birkenhead, could you call into the market and get me five and a half yards of floral wynceyette and 1lb of cinder toffee. The central heating has packed in and I need to make some warm pyjamas - and something to chew on while I'm busying with the thimble.

    You're a love
    Chesca
     
  6. sarahc

    sarahc Registered User

    Apr 4, 2004
    33
    Thanks and sundowning ???

    Thanks Kriss, Chesca, - it really is like being in a comedy show/Olympic mental triathlon !
    Can someone explain to me what sundowning is please - I have heard the term a lot but am not sure what it is .
    Sarah x
     
  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Sundowning

    The Alzheimer's web pages include a brief description of sundowning at http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/How_dementia_progresses/info_later.htm

    There seem to be different manifestations and solutions. There is more on http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/sundowntip.html

    http://www.alzla.org/dementia/sundowning.html

    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Dementia_and_sundowning?open

    Actually none of these seemed to fit the bill totally in my wife's case. Anytime from 2.30 pm onwards she would start to become agitated [this was when she lived at home] and then would say "I've got to be going now. I have to go home". Of course, she had lived for over 12 years where she was, but she was already finding familiar things became unfamiliar as the disease took its increasing toll. There were times already when she wasn't recognising me. She would get desperate and before I started to lock the doors, she would march into the drive and it would take me ages to persuade her back in the house. Occasionally when she found she couldn't get out, she would become a bit violent. Not hugely so, but unusually so.

    Medication was the only thing that helped and even that worked only when I learned to recognise the earliest of symptoms and could lace a drink with some medication.

    Sundowning was one of the most distressing aspects of caring for Jan at home. I would know it would be coming, but not exactly when, or how. After lunch each day I would be anxious lest it start soon. It is possible that this anxiety fed back to Jan and actually caused the sundowning.

    On Talking Point, have a look at http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkin...read.php?s=&threadid=364&highlight=sundowning

    and

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkin...read.php?s=&threadid=338&highlight=sundowning

    Best wishes
     
  8. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All,

    Sundowning........ hmmm. This is one thing that makes me want to run and hide. As Brucie says, it can start after lunch which is when it's worst because I know that it will continue until bedtime.

    I don't know whether I hate the endless conversations about 'going home' or the dragging of clothes out of wardrobes the most.

    One way I have found that often works is to take my parents out for a short drive in the car. That way I can validly say 'yes, we are going home shortly'. When we come back, I say 'Oh isn't it wonderful to be home, let's have a cup of tea'.

    Jude
     
  9. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Sundowning is that space between sun-over-the-yard arm and dawn - the time to imbibe your Singapore sling (or wear it depending upon your stability after copious consumption). I thought EVERYBODY knew that!

    Chesca
     
  10. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Chesca,

    What sun is that [barring yesterday]? This sounds like a license to quaff 24 hours a day in the UK. Maybe that's why the laws are possibly going to change shortly.... Mind you this works well in Oz.

    Jude
     
  11. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Jude

    I can dream, can't I? There are no quaffing-time laws on my premises! I had you in mind when writing, actually. See! I do think of you!

    Chesca
     
  12. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Chesca,

    What are the ingredients required for a Singapore Sling? Last time I was in Singapore I had 'tiffin' at Raffles, but it was Earl Grey and cucumber sandwiches which cost the better part of Bolivia's national debt. Not a cheap place these days........

    In Bali, the restaurants serve 'Arak Attack'. This seems to be 4 star petrol mixed with lemon and lime juice and is not a good idea unless you are on a suicide mission.

    Jude
     
  13. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Jude

    Not sure I know. I'm more of an Arack Attack kind of girlie. Anyway, given that today I am a lady who lunches and have a hot date at 1.30 I will endeavour to research contents for a Singapore wotsit and will get back to you - if am capable! Things I do for TP! Other people run and trek, I get to drink!

    Chesca
     
  14. frazer

    frazer Registered User

    Sep 9, 2004
    42
    london
    I never realised that was what sundowning was - i had visions of all these older folk drinking cocktails somewhere. Couldn't understand this as my dad won't drink, but just wants to go home, meaning his mum's house which he left in 1946.
     
  15. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Cocktails

    One thing you learn quickly when making your own cocktails is that books about cocktails are like cookery books.

    There are two rules:
    • You never get more than one successful recipe out of any one book
    • No two cookery/cocktail books will give the same ingredients/process for a given recipe/cocktail

    Here's one for a Singapore Sling:

    You will need for 1 glass:
    • 6-8 ice cubes
    • juice of half a fresh lemon
    • juice of half a fresh orange
    • 1 part cherry brandy
    • 3 parts gin
    • 3 drops Angostura Bitters
    • 1 slice fresh orange
    • 1 slice fresh lemon
    • soda water

    The process:
    • put 4-5 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker
    • add the fruit juices, cherry brandy and gin
    • put the bitters over the mixture
    • shake the mixture until a frost forms [or fingers turn black, whichever happens first - this is a Brucie health warning]
    • put 2 fresh ice cubes into a collins glass
    • pour mixture without straining [is it really that heavy?] into glass
    • garnish with slices of fruit
    • top up with soda water and serve


    Caveat: I have never tried this recipe!


    Question: why do they always say to juice the fruits THEN say to slice it? The shape is all gone by then, plus most of the flesh!!!
     
  16. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Brucie,

    This sounds rather good, apart from the straining bit...... I will have to take a bottle of cherry brandy over to Flamboyant with me as that's where the cocktail shaker is.

    Jude
     
  17. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Frazer,

    What a great scene. I can just see everyone sitting around and socking back cocktails. 'What's yours? Don't know really. I've forgotten what I ordered, but it tastes great......'

    Jude
     
  18. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    308
    Huddersfield
    Dear Jude

    Are you sure you aren't getting your Threads mixed,and not your cocktails, Arak Attack is really an group of Oz musicians.

    Cheers Barraf
     
  19. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    God Almighty! That was some lunch! Got back about 6.00 clock unfit to do anything, to put things politely! Made me realise that sometimes we are entitled to a bit of knees up with almost forgetten friends. Has done me the world of good and recommend it to anyone who is currently feeling like a prisoner in their own home, carer support permitting.

    Arak Attack is what is going on my head still and no amount of parrotseatemall will shift it.

    As for the singapore sling, Bruce: don't they make a ready mix? Sounds like a lot of hard work to me - and the shopping it will entail! Gordon Highlanders!

    Lots of love
    Chesca
     
  20. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    That's why I stick with a Quiet Sunday:

    large glass
    vodka
    orange juice
    Amaretto di Saronno
    1 ice cube
    quantities? - however much of each that you feel you need at the time

    Had one this evening. Excellent.

    Variations are Screwdriver, Harvey Wallbanger, Freddy Fudpucker and my very own creation, the Milky White Thigh.
     

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